Dirt

by Catherine Rogers
poets.org
First Place, August 2006
Judged by Tree Riesener and Peter Krok


After the test, I waited and thought
of its cold hug under the shoulders,
its weight on the chest, blackness
packing the mouth, the nose, the eyes.

When the call came, I went out
and knelt in the dirt, watching
the worms and pillbugs work
leaf-decay to loam. I lifted

a handful, smelled green
earth and thought how hard
seed-coats crack in rain,
how root-hairs uncurl, blind

and sure of finding. Dirt clung
to my hands as I rose and let go
a shower of clods that hit
my boots with soft thuds
and broke into pieces all
I have yet to become.



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